16 March 2010

Well. Cruizer rode really well the night before the clinic with Kelly Mahloch, but was absolutely horrible in the clinic. I tried two new bits on him before that, a slow twist D ring, and a loose ring. He liked both, but I like him in the D ring more. I have more control with that one. In the clinic he was tossing his head, crazy nervous, wiggling his body around, and refusing to relax and listen. It was one of the worst rides I've ever had on him. I was really disappointed in him. He had a few moments where he relaxed and gave in, and was good, but overall was just a complete nut case. He was pretty good for showmanship..wasn't pivoting well, but did everything else, so it was okay. We didn't really get as much of a warm up as I usually give him before patterns, so that was that. Kelly is really traditional and likes a really short rein on a hunter, which is fine and all, but Cruizer HATED it. Quarter Horse hunters are ridden on the flat with a more relaxed rein, which is usually how I ride him, so when I shortened them for the clinic he got really pissed off about it. Last night I went out to the barn and intended to kick his ass for his behavior yesterday. But what do ya know, he was absolutely wonderful to ride yesterday. WHY COULDN'T HE DO THAT SUNDAY!?!? I rode him right from the start on a tight rein, just like in the clinic, and there was absolutely not one single head toss, he never mouthed the bit, and was just perfect. WTF? I have no idea what changed in his little mind, but yesterday we had one of the best rides we've ever had. I rode him a lot in two point, and focusing more on my equitation than his headset, and he was perfect. We had a nice, collected, balanced, perfect canter on the RIGHT lead, which is the lead he is TERRIBLE for lately. He was happy, relaxed, and very comfortable with everything I asked him to do. Of course, the doors were open in the indoor, and it was sunny, warm, dragged footing, and only Karen, Brittany, and I in the arena. As the ride went on I changed the length of rein frequently, switching between a hunter/jumper length and hunter under saddle length, and he never seemed to notice. He just stayed right there and relaxed. His canter on the looser rein was a bit more unbalanced, but still very good. No chomping on the bit whatsoever the whole ride. What gives?????? Sometimes, I could just shoot him (not seriously..) but really Cruizer, why can't you be good and think rationally on the days it really counts? I dunno man. I'm going to Kentucky tomorrow morning, and returning Sunday night, so I won't be updating. I'm going to ride Cruizer tonight. My mom might lunge him a couple times while I'm gone, so he's not so bananas when I get back.

Kelly did say that she liked him, and gave me some good suggestions to fix his issues. I asked her about the bit mouthing, and she said that she thinks he will grow out of it, as it seems to be a baby behavior, especially with her Thoroughbreds. That makes me feel a little better, as Cruizer is a baby and thinks like a Thoroughbred a lot of the time (he's half TB). She also suggested I try a mullen mouth or Happy Mouth bit, to squander the bit munching. Things to think about..

I also have decided to write monthly goals. (Inspired by Andrea.) Since the month is half over, I'm only going to write three for this month..

March Goals:
Keep Cruizer more relaxed/consistent on the tighter rein, and keep working on it with the looser rein.
Get Cruizer snappier in showmanship. (less casual about walking/trotting off, setting up, etc).
Continue to work on moving the different body parts independently under saddle.

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